Hot Girl Walk Vs. Gym Membership: Glam Staff Sounds Off About The Better Workout Method

Hot girl walks are perhaps one of the biggest fitness trends to emerge following initial COVID-19 lockdowns, and they've remained popular since, with the TikTok hashtag having more than 650 million views. What is a hot girl walk, you ask? Hot girl walks are extensive routines, often hours long, that see you walking around your neighborhood, city, local parks, and more, typically with music, water, and even snacks in tow. The goal is to have fun while walking and to make exercise fun yet passive. Some people even do them together, creating community just as gym rats do. Now, this isn't to say that gym memberships have completely left the building. In fact, roughly 39% of the United States population has a gym membership as of this year (via Zippia).

Both exercise options boast benefits, including the ability to customize one's time breaking a sweat. Personalized playlists and cute, hand-picked accessories highlight time on the sidewalk or in the gym, but this doesn't negate the fact that everyone perceives exercise differently. This, of course, is dependent on one's lived experiences and preferences. You might even have to ask yourself whether there are ways to keep a hot girl walk from becoming stale or if you will get your money's worth out of a gym membership. 

Nevertheless, while we at Glam cover wellness trends, including fitness, are we suckers for the hot girl walk trend, or might we prefer good ol' gym memberships? Let's see what each editor has to say.

Jackie McGoey: Gym membership all the way

I'm #TeamGymMembership all the way. Don't get me wrong: I love that hot girl walks promote physical fitness and improve your mental health through positive thinking and mindfulness. But if you're not the type of person who enjoys being outside much (*raises hand*), the experience can be more stress-inducing than calming and reflective.

In addition to insects, allergy-inducing pollen, and other nature-related icks, there are other factors for me to consider because I live in a large, metropolitan area in the Midwest. Things like seasonal weather changes, air pollution, traffic, and cat-callers are just some of the cons that outweigh the pros for me. Plus, there are multiple benefits to joining a gym. These include: access — to both equipment and amenities or perks; convenience — many gyms stay open late into the evening or even overnight; and motivation – seeing other people focused on reaching their own health and wellness goals is encouraging. And the perception that gym memberships are cost-prohibitive is changing. There are options that work for just about any budget.

So I'm skipping the hot girl walks, for now at least. Sign me up for a gym spin class instead. And I'll prioritize my mental health through my preferred mindfulness practice: journaling.

Vanessa Elle: Hot girl walks for the win

Disclaimer: I hate the gym. I had an ongoing membership once, which started out great but ended with me and a gym buddy spending our sessions eating snacks in the locker room. Maybe it was just that gym, but I found the whole thing boring and repetitive, and my inner rebel had to protest. Anyway, one thousand times hot girl walk.

First and foremost, the fancier gyms can be expensive. Even if they're not, a cheap gym membership is still just one more thing that will eat into your disposable income. And while at the gym you're stuck in a room that probably smells like sweat, walking gives you the chance to get your fresh air and vitamin D for the day. Plus, I genuinely like walking, so I'd keep going with this exercise commitment much longer than I ever could on that god-forsaken stationary bike. If walking did ever get boring, I'd just change up the route. You can do a hot girl walk on the beach, right?

Now, those benefits all apply to plain old regular walking. Add on the fact that the hot girl walk makes space in your day to practice gratitude and self-love, and visualize reaching your goals? Take my money. Or don't, because hot girl walking is free (unlike the gym).

Lindsay Ray: Hot girl walks are more accessible

Each year in January, I tell myself I will be hitting the gym more. I know, I know — the classic "exercise more" New Year's resolution. (I have a lot of endearing qualities, but thinking of original NYE resolutions is not one of them.) And, considering the gym gets a tiny glimpse of my face maybe three days per year if it's lucky, it's a safe assumption that the hot girl walk is my preference.

I wish I could embrace TikTok's viral 'That Girl' aesthetic and be a gym girlie who wears matching workout sets, drinks green smoothies, and wakes up at 5:00 a.m. for her morning gym sesh — but I'm more of the sweatpants, unwashed hair, hot-girl walker myself. Plus, I know I should be listening to inspirational Ted Talks on my walks, but I have an obsession with true crime podcasts, so it's the perfect time to catch up on my favorite episodes (while resisting the urge to look over my shoulder in paranoia every few minutes). Self-care, baby.

Now, that's not to say I personally think hot girl walks are the better workout method as a whole. Hitting the gym is a fantastic option for those who prefer to utilize workout equipment indoors, free from the creepy crawlies, critters, and catcalls of the great outdoors. However, my hot girl walks allow me to somewhat cross that New Year's resolution off every year. It may not be a brisk walk, but a walk is a walk! I'll take it.

Michele Meleen: Hot girl walks are classic for a reason

I've been Hot Girl Walking all over my small town for years without even knowing it (or my neighbors realizing it — you better recognize!). So, I'm definitely team Hot Girl Walk — it's free; you can do it anytime, anywhere, and in any weather; and the benefits seem infinite. Working on a computer all day definitely gets me feeling stale and stiff, but a long walk with my cute pup in the middle of the day reenergizes me to finish strong. I sing along to pop hits on Spotify or focus on a podcast about creating picture books (a big goal of mine), and I make sure to take a different route each day for added stimulation.

Aside from the exercise and internal dialogue, I up my endorphins by saying "Hi" to strangers, petting other pups, waving to babies, chatting up the mailman, or spotting a guy catching a case of whiplash thanks to my hotness. As a remote worker, this is about all the in-person socialization I get in a day, which is also necessary for my mental health.

Gym memberships are great if you need that kind of motivation, but sweating alongside a bunch of silent strangers on equipment I barely know how to use is not my speed. If it's free and easy, I'm much more likely to do it.

Preston Smith: Why not both?

Listen: I am and have always been a plus-size babe. However, I like to shuffle my feet like the next person, and as such, I was always a hot girl walk proponent. Let me loose on the town with headphones blasting Nicki Minaj or Kelly Clarkson, my sticker-decorated Hydro Flask (yes, there's a Milk Bar sticker), and perhaps some chewing gum, and I'm game.

Life gets busy, though, and while hot girl walks are an aesthetically pleasing way to get in some steps, it was no longer practical for me and had to be reserved for weekend mornings. (Iced coffee and "Pokémon GO" makes a lovely Sunday morning stroll.) So, after being fed up with my body and lack of time in the summer of 2022, I bit the bullet and purchased a gym membership.

This was the best of both worlds for me. I learned that I don't hate the gym, though the thought of going alone still terrifies me a little bit. (Thanks, boyfriend, for always going with me.) I can still go on a nice walk on the weekends, but the gym has been a weekday game-changer, and I've seen results in my body in recent months that I never saw from walking alone. So, while it may sound like a copout, I am on both teams — one for business and one for pleasure.